Nov 2, 2013; Lexington, KY, USA; Alabama State Hornets quarterback Daniel Duhart (15) hands the ball of to running back Isaiah Crowell (1) during the game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Commonwealth Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

A Few Small School Prospects that could Interest the Cleveland Browns


We have attempted to cover the NFL Draft in as many ways as possible from Mock Drafts, Pro Days, analyse and general information. Today we want to look at a CBS Sports article that highlights some small school prospects that could be selected in the upcoming NFL Draft. Here is a look at a few that could be of interest to the Cleveland Browns:

1. Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois – A quick-paced passer with a lightning-fast release who has his struggles with pressure, but projects as a NFL starter down the road.

Many fans have strongly stated their preference for the electric Sammy Watkins at the #4 pick and also want a offensive lineman or cornerback selected with the 26th pick. Those same fans may be okay if the Browns get a lineman or corner at #4 but want a WR then at #26. Jimmy G. is one of the reasons these fans clamor for more exciting picks in the first round. Fans have heard his name whispered then spoken through the early draft process and now have come to believe he is a better, young version of Brian Hoyer. Since he “will be available” later in the draft fans feel comfortable on skipping out on the 3 QBs that should go in the first but that no one is really sold on as guaranteed franchise QBs. Garoppolo has his strengths but hasn’t proven anything against competition and doesn’t have the strongest arm. Think Joe Flacco without the size and arm but with a quicker release and doesn’t do well in pressure.

2. Billy Turner, OL, North Dakota State – The collegiate left tackle projects best inside at the next level where he can use his athletic feet and nasty demeanor to control the point of attack.

3. Dakota Dozier, OL, Furman – Another collegiate left tackle who projects best inside and should find NFL success with his natural flexibility and quick reflexes.

Two unique offensive linemen who could do well as guards in the league could help solidify the Browns offensive line. Much of the line decision will come down to how Mike Pettine and Ray Farmer, and their staffs, see Mitchell Schwartz who graded out surprisingly well last year. Do they think he can hold the edge at right tackle and be much improved in the Zone Blocking Scheme? If so the Browns could pass on early linemen and add a player like Turner and Dozier later in the mid rounds in Day 2 or 3.

4. Isaiah Crowell, RB, Alabama State – Arguably the most talented running back in this draft class, the former SEC Freshman of the Year has a high NFL ceiling if he stays clean and committed.

Crowell is a back that should be off the board early but whose off the field flags means he could go undrafted. More likely he is a late 2nd early 3rd day pick and could be a back to spell Ben Tate in the Browns backfield. Crowell proved himself early in his college career in the SEC and could be a low risk, high reward type of player for the Browns.

21. Jeff Janis, WR, Saginaw Valley State – Ultra-productive at the Division-II level with his impressive combination of size (6-3, 219), strength (20 reps) and speed (4.42 40-yard dash).

The Browns have to add to their wide receiver depth no matter what they do in the first couple rounds. Janis is a interesting prospect as he was productive to go along with his size and speed. Many college products have one or the other, especially at small schools. Either they have the measurables but didn’t produce or they don’t fit the bill but caught a ton of balls playing against inferior competition. Pencil me in as a Janis fan starting in the 5th round.

25. Joe Don Duncan, TE, Dixie State – Although durability remains a big question mark, the 6-2, 268-pounder has brute strength (36 reps) and a productive resume when on the field.

A big blocking tight end that can also catch sounds like a option next to Jordan Cameron. Duncan becomes a de facto 6th lineman who can release into a pattern after blocking. For the Browns rolling the dice on such a player late in the draft could pay dividends in the long run.

We encourage you to check out some You Tube clips of the players as we prepare for some unknown draft picks in May. Any interest in any of these players?

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Cleveland Browns NFL Draft

  • Jarod Cook

    If the Browns want to take a chance on Garapollo and Carr, I’m fine with that if they wait till the 3rd. Both of them played at small conference schools, but have a lot of the intangibles that project well to the NFL. Big concern I’ve got with both of them is they struggle against pressure and don’t have the strongest of arms. I still think the Browns go with the safe pick at #4 and grab one of the OT. Still wouldn’t be bad idea to take another OL on the 2nd or 3rd day, that you can develop into a starter. Janis is a legit talent if he makes into the 5th rd I’ll be surprised. I see one of the teams at the end of the 4th rd taking a chance on him. I hope they stay away from players who have off the field issues, they tend to follow them to the pros, and teams aren’t going to baby sit you like they do in collage.

  • Letterman007

    I’ve seen Dozier play a couple times, as I live 10 minutes from Furman and he is a talent! Will need coached up a little depending on where he plays, but he is solid and a worker!!

  • Charlie Peterson

    Browns have not had any success with drafting QBs period and now they draft a QB from a small conference? Maybe I’ll draft Garapollo or Carr but in the 3rd or 4th round. However, I wouldn’t draft them over a larger stronger QB from a bigger conference. Janis has the measureless and hopefully he is on the Brown’s radar. The TE you mention, he sounds like a fullback, not a good pick but maybe as a free agent. I agree the Browns need nasty quick guards but they can’t expect to get quality after the 3rd or 4th rounds.

    • Jared Mueller

      I am with you on Jimmy G. I would be okay with Carr in the 2nd, but not really happy about it. I want them to draft a guy high this year or deal for another first next year somehow. Get a stud or stick with Hoyer.